Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems to me that we are becoming increasingly isolated as a society. Gone are the days when we knew our neighbors. Granted, technology has made the world smaller, and I agree that we now have the ability to reach more people through technology, but even with our technological worldwide outreach, many of us don’t recognize the person who lives next door.
When I read this Non Sequitur comic strip I was taken aback by what appeared to me to be the main message: focusing on our differences, or caring about who has power or influence, doesn’t do anything but further isolate us from each other.
As a child I fondly recall spending hours riding my bicycle through the neighborhood with my friends. In true kid fashion we didn’t have a care in the world. It was just us and the “open road”, so to speak. The people in my neighborhood were diverse in that each of us is unique in our own ways. By no means did we all get along nor think of everyone in the neighborhood as our BFF’s, but regardless of whether we liked a neighbor, we at least knew enough about the neighbor to know why we didn’t like them.
My point is not to posit a naïve notion that some day all people will simply get along. Rather, what I take away from this comic strip is that we need to try to understand the views of others. To at least know a person enough to know if you agree or disagree with their views. To not negatively focus on our differences, but rather to learn about our differences.
It is possible to dislike a person while at the same time respecting them for who they are. To be able to respect a person we need to see them for who they are, not on judgement to, or in comparison to, others. Think of what our world would be like if at the least we respected, of not liked, everyone…
… continue the conversation …